Crazy retail stories are so common that Reddit actually has an entire subreddit called "Tales From Retail."
Here are just a few of the most ridiculous happenings.
Chip On My Baby
I was bagging groceries last night when a lady came through with a baby in a car seat in the basket of her cart. She had a LOT of groceries that I'm assuming she'd had under and around the car seat, so when I bagged them I was putting them back under and around the car seat. I wasn't sure where else to put them if not there, right? It's not like I could put them on top of the baby, right?
Well. As I'm placing stuff carefully under Baby, Baby's mom says "oh hon, you can just put some of this stuff on top of him" and pats the canopy.
The phrase "but ma'am that's a baby" almost escapes me but I choke it down, nod, and continue putting stuff under the baby, under the cart, in the seat of the cart, etc. At this point the cashier (my favorite cashier) is trying and failing not to laugh at both the absurdity of me being told to put groceries on a baby, and my increasingly desperate attempts at finding places for the bags.
I got all but a bag of chips squared away, and there was just no more room, so as they walked away I set the bag of chips on top of the car seat, turned back to the cashier and whispered in horror "I put the chips on the baby." Which I believe is the most absurd thing I've said on the job so far. occipital_spatula
I'm a cart pusher and I don't deal with tons of customers. I did have a woman flip out and call me an idiot, but honestly I feel this was worse.
I saw these two girls, probably 17-19 years old, putting their cart up on the curb instead of a corral. I went over and said I would take it. What does one of them do? She shoves the cart so it rolls full speed, and I have to run after it while they stand there, watching me, laughing at me. One of them said "Haha you really did that!!" to the one who shoved the cart.
I was embarrassed and felt hurt by this. It ruined my night, that they decided to just make a joke out of me and my job. I am trying to feel better about it, thinking they are super immature, but this still was hurtful. :( sweatycat
I worked as a bagger at a small, family owned grocery store while I was in high school. One day a man came through the checkout with a full cart of groceries.
Me: "Paper or plastic?"
Customer: Id like double bagged paper and Id like you to make each bag as heavy as you can.
Me: "Sure thing!"
A bit of a strange request, sure, but anything that broke up the monotony of the day was welcomed. I managed to load his entire cart into three fairly heavy bags and bring them out to his car.
Customer: "In case you're wondering - I just had a fight with the wife and it's my turn to pick up the groceries."
Customer: "It's also her turn to unload the car."
How To Embarrass Your Tween
I work part time in a mid-sized retail store, pretty close to a local school, so we get a lot of school kids in around 12 buying snacks and candy and what not during recess. A lot of the same kids, so over time i've come to recognize a lot of them. One of the groups were quite loudly talking about dabbing, and about how fun it would be to see an employee dab while working.
I could have taken the easy route and just dabbed right there and made his day, but i didn't, and it would turn out to pay off.
A few days later the same group of kids come in, but this time with the dab-kid's mom as well. They're still talking about dabbing, and getting an employee to dab, probably hoping i overhear it. I was about to do it, but then their mom walks towards me, with the kind of mischievous grin only a mother can muster. The kid, the mom, and myself share a moment - we all know whats about to go down. The mother and i with mischievous grin, and the kid with a mortified look on his face.
"Wanna Dab with me?" She plainly asks.
The kids friends are looking in awe.
dab-kid is mortified, then hangs his head in shame, as his friends start to laugh.
A plan that started out as a way to get a little bit of street cred suddenly backfired, as his friends watched his mom commit the ultimate act of embarrassment.
Made my day though. jQuaade
Not me, but an older lady I work with told me this story from yesterday (when our store was observing Veteran's Day.)
A little back story: We have a regular customer who is a Korean War veteran and he'll often come into the store (like every other day) I guess to pass time and talk to people. Whatever, he's no bother, and a genuinely nice person to talk to.
So yesterday, there was a huge line at the front of the store, so he walked back to the customer service desk where my coworker was, and asked if he could buy his shirt there instead of waiting in line for 15+ minutes. She said she could absolutely do that for him.
He was dressed in his navy uniform for Veteran's day (I think he had gone to some event in the morning) and there was a couple standing nearby. When my coworker read the total ($19 or something like that) the husband from the nearby couple walked up and put a $20 bill on the counter and said "I'll take care of that. Thank you for your service, sir." and the old veteran said "oh thank you, you really didn't have to do that." and the guy replied "well you didn't have to do what you did either. It's my pleasure."
It was a nice little interaction within the craziness of the store yesterday and it brought a smile to my face :) jmb555666
Hello 911? This Lady Is Crazy
I work for a car rental place. I am the only employee at a location in a very small town. I often have to leave the store to go pick up customers, pickup/drop off oil changes, etc. etc. When I do, I leave between reservations, lock-up, and put up a sign on the door with a number where customers can reach me immediately.
I usually never get any calls.
However, yesterday a woman called while I was out dropping off a customer to a body shop. She seemed perfectly reasonable at first.
Me: Thanks for calling *****. How can I help you?
Her: Hi. (Apparently having read my notice) Will you be back soon? I don't have much time.
(For the record, she had no reservation and had not previously contacted the store.)
Me: Yes ma'am. Just dropping off a customer. It should be about 5 to 10 minutes.
Her: I'll be waiting . . .
Literally 2 minutes later she calls back.
Her: Sir, I just can't let you do this.
Me: Do what
Her: You abandoned the store and I am going to call the cops if you don't show up soon.
Me: laughing from confusion
Me: That won't be necessary ma'am. I'll be back very soon and the cops aren't . . .
she hangs up
I show up 4 minutes later and swear to god, THE COPS WERE WAITING WITH HER, visibly unsure about why they were there. If you're counting, she waited a total of 6 minutes MAX after I knew she existed; which is no longer than I've waited for fresh nuggets in a drive through. She had no reservation, with not having previously contacted a business that operates based on reservations and literally called the cops.
Cops: What's the problem here?
Me: astonished I have no idea. You'll have to ask her.
Cops: having already talked to her and unable to seriously address her, they look at us and back at each other, then back at me we hope you have a better day.
She doesn't even try to come in. Maybe she realized she had just gone through a manic episode and decided to give herself some time. hppruettreddit
I work at a clothing store, we have packs of underwear hanging on a wall near the front of the store. The wall is split into two sections, the bottom is single pairs of underwear that go for $2, and then there's packs of 8 that cost $20. They are no the same brand, they are different materials, they look different, and are on different parts of the wall. On the part of the wall that only contains single pairs, is a sign that says "5 for $5"
A woman walks up to our register with five 8-packs of underwear, I make casual conversation before presenting her with her total.
Me: That will be ~$100.00
Her: No, that will be $5.00
Me:...Well, no, that'll be ~$100.00
Her: No! They're five for five it says so on the sign!
At this point I know what sign she saw, and I know what mistake she's making, but in an attempt to show her the error of her ways I ask her to show me the sign
Her: Look, there it is right there it's 5 for $5.
Me: Actually, the 5 for $5 is referencing these single pairs that are only $2.
Her face lit up with anger and disgust as if I had defecated on the floor and asked her to clean up with her tongue.
Her: Well why is that sign there?! Why are those packs with these packs?! These packs are on this wall and that sign says it's 5 or $5 and I'll take them at that price.
Me: Usually I could adjust your price, but I can't sell you $100 of merchandise at $5
Her: Well you need to remove that sign then because that's false advertising.
Me: Yup, no.
At this point my heart was in my throat and I actually could have gotten in trouble for how I spoke to her (depending on which manager she spoke to) but instead she just kind of walked out of the store.
Even if the sign was ambiguous, assuming a sale of that magnitude is just silly. AloeRP
So I work in a store where we use short range radios with headsets to communicate with each other. It's a huge help to us and helps us be more efficient.
Earlier today my boss sends me next door to the grocery store to buy donuts for the crew. While I'm waiting in line a young boy (maybe 7-8) is shooting daggers at me. I'm wearing my sunglasses inside with my earpiece still in as well. As I'm leaving he yells to grab my attention. Here's the convo we had:
Little kid (LC): Hey!
Me: uhh, yeah?
LC: Whats that for? (pointing to my ear piece)
By now I know where this is going
Me: (I cross my arms) I use it for work.
LC: come here, I have another question.
Mom looks at me with an eye roll because her kid is eccentric and that seems to annoy her. Not me, weird kids always give me a laugh. I bend down to his level to hear then he whispers:
LC: do you work for the government?
Me: (I put my finger over my ear piece) Eagle this is condor! Cover blown! I repeat eagle, our cover us blown!
Then I take me and my donuts and run out of the store as fast as possible while the mom is dying of laughter and the kids jaw is on the ground because he just met a secret agent. Highlight of my day. And_The_Full_Effect
This literally just happened.
I work at a higher end clothing store and I tend not to get too many out-there customers, but this guy took the cake. A man came in with about 3 small children, shopped around for about a half hour (while running me completely ragged in the process) and then went to pay for his items. He has a store credit card with us, but he didn't have it on him. I said, "No problem, I can look it up with your drivers license or a state ID."
"Oh, I don't drive. Here, I'll show you my passport."
"Sir, our computer does not scan passports as a valid form of ID. The scanner only responds to drivers licenses or state IDs."
"But a passport is a better form of ID than a drivers license. This is Uncle Sam right here!"
"I understand, but our computer system only scans drivers licenses or state IDs."
"But a passport is a government issued ID!"
"Yes, but our computer physically cannot scan a passport. I can only scan a drivers license or a state issued ID."
"Well I'll just take my business elsewhere then!"
He proceeded to storm out of the store, and honestly I was a little bit relieved, until about 5 minutes later he comes barging back into the store.
"Here, I found my ID, now please look up my credit card!"
He pulls out his passport.
"Sir, I cannot accept this as a f-"
"Scan it! This is my ID! You are discriminating against people that don't drive!"
"Would you like me to call customer service and see if there is anything they can do for you?"
"No, I don't want you to call customer service. I want you to scan my ID and look up my credit card!"
At this point, my manager sees the commotion going on, comes over to help me out, and tells this guy exactly what I've been repeating to him for the last 10 minutes. We apologize to him for the inconvenience, and even offer him a coupon, but he just keeps yelling and ranting and raving. Finally he takes his kids, swears he will never shop with us again, is reporting us for "discrimination", storms out of the store for a second time...
And gets into a car and drives away. xandrenia
Hello TFR! I come bearing a tale that is one of the most ridiculous customer encounters I've had in my almost 17 years of retail experience. So buckle up, kids. It's gonna be a wild ride.
Me: Assistant Manager/slave
SW: Senile Woman, as there's really no other explanation
Relevant to the story: We are unable to take orders over the phone. Credit cards must be physically swiped/inserted at the register and we have absolutely no way around this.
The setting: a shoe store. Just a few days ago. I had just clocked in for my closing shift. The phone rings.
Me: "Good afternoon, thank you for calling ShoeStore, how may I help you?"
SW: "Oh hi. I was in your store earlier today looking at a pair of shoes, and I'm just kicking myself for not buying them. I'd like for you to ship them to me."
Me: "Unfortunately we are unable to take orders over the phone, but I'd be glad to put them on hold for you."
SW: "But I live alllllll the way in SameStateInWhichMyStoreIsLocated and I can't make the trip alllll the way out there again!"
Me: "uh... I'm sorry about that, but I have no way of taking payment over the phone."
SW: "Can I order them online?"
Me: "Possibly, which shoe were you looking at?"
SW: "I don't know."
A little back and forth ensues, with her attempting to explain what the shoe looked like and where it was located in the store. I'm somehow able to find it. It's a single pair of sandals from last year that are on super mega clearance because, well, they're old.Me: "unfortunately you won't find these on our website, they're from last year."
SW: "well what am I supposed to doooooo??!!"
Me: go back in time and buy them when you were here? "I'm not sure, ma'am."
SW: "OH! You can ship them to me, and when I get them I'll mail you a check!"
Me: "Sorry ma'am, I can't send out merchandise that has not been paid for."
SW, getting increasingly frustrated: "Is there anyone else there I can talk to? A manager?"
Me, trying to suppress laughter as my manager is staring at me, shaking his head at hearing my side of the conversation: "No, I'm the only manager here right now."
SW: "Well then, you can buy it for me and I'll mail you a check."
Me: "Excuse me?"
SW: "They're not even $20. You pay for it and I'll send you a personal check. I'm good for it."
Me: "I'm not going to do that."
SW: "Well is there anyone else there who would?"
Me: "No ma'am, no one here is going to buy your shoes for you." staring from my manager intensifies, we both exchange the 'I can't wait to talk about this one' look
SW: "Well I mean this is ridiculous. All I want is those shoes and no one will help me. So there's nothing you can do?"
Me: "No ma'am, I'm afraid there isn't."
SW: "Well then THANKS A LOT."
I burst out laughing and regale my manager with the full conversation. A nearby customer overhears and also starts laughing. I spend most of my remaining shift hiding in the back room, I feel like I earned it. ironsprite
Baby Come Back
I was working drive thru and this man pulls up to the second window for me to give him his food.
He has the cutest little baby boy in the back seat, so of course, after the greetings and handing off the food, I said hi to the baby.
He had been staring intently at me and when I said hi, he immediately starts laughing and waving. He was just the cutest thing!
His dad turned around and looked at him and said, "Son, you're too young to be flirting. Stop it."
Me: D'aww, honey, I'm sorry, but I have a boyfriend. If you were like 15 years older, you could fight him for me, but right now I think he'd crush you.
And so we shared a laugh, he left, and I continued on with my work.
About an hour later, they return!
The Dad: Oh, he insisted on coming back to see you! turns around and says to his son now remember, no more flirting because she has a boyfriend.
The baby just laughed and waved his chubby little arms around.
It was a good day. firelight2
Doctors Vs. Jewelers
This happened a few years ago when I worked in a bead shop. We did jewelry repair too. Mostly simple stuff like reattaching clasps, restringing beads, or pearl knotting. Occasionally, when we weren't busy we would do repairs on the spot. Our minimum charge for any repair was $4 plus the cost of the materials.
So one day a lady comes in and she needs this necklace repaired ASAP because she wants to wear it that night at a dinner party. I saw that the necklace just needed the clasp reattached, which is something I can do in under a minute. I told her the store policy and said I could fix it for her while she waited. She seemed cool with that, so I grabbed a jump ring and reattached the clasp for her.
I rang her up and she took her necklace, leaving without a word.
The next day we got a call from the lady asking to talk to "the manager". She told the bead shop owner she was upset about having to pay $4 for the jewelry repair because I fixed it in under a minute. Her words, "Last time I checked only doctors made $4 a minute."
It's something you didn't know how to do lady. I did it quickly because I've done it five hundred and sixty two million times. If you didn't want it fixed professionally then do it your damn self. JennIsFit
Helping Each Other Out
I have removed myself from the retail game about 6 months ago, but I still think fondly of this one...
I was the manager of the returns and exchanges area of a smaller computer and electronics chain (some would call it the ultimate), and I was called over to the returns area by one of our associates. I approached and saw a young college age girl with a MacBook that had an obviously cracked screen, and looking at the receipt it was less a day old. I asked her what happened and she admitted to dropping it as soon as she took it out of the box, and that she didn't get any warranties to cover the damage because she was a broke college kid and asked me if there was anything I could do for her. I told her that I was going to walk away and come back in a minute and when I did she should tell me it was broken as soon as she took it out of the box. I came back she told me that, and we swapped it out for a new one for no charge.
The best part was this young lady came back in about two days with a tray full of the most delicious brownies and kept saying how much she appreciated everything we did for her. undercoverRavenclaw
Three Years Gone By
So this story begins in a locally owned jewelry store. The jeweler has been repairing and selling high end jewelry for 52 years. He is over 70 and still works like a madman. His business is efficient, resonably priced, and high quality, allowing him to stay in business as long as he has.
For repairs, the customer must leave their piece of jewelry with us for several weeks to place it in line. When the jeweler is reayd to do the repair, we call the customer with a price quote, and if they approve, the repair is completed within 24 hours. If they decline the quote, the repair is marked as "did not repair" in our computer system, filed in the "completed repairs" bin, and the customer can pick up the repair at no charge.
Now, when the customer leaves a piece of jewelry with us, we give them a claims ticket that says "Not responsible for pieces left over 60 days from completion of repair". We also take down their name, address, and phone number (multiple if possible) to ensure that we contact the correct person when the repair is complete.
Enter customer. The year is 2014. The month is February. She leaves her ring with us to be repaired. When the jeweler looks at it several weeks later, he finds that the original ring is too fragile and cannot be repaired. We call the customer, and she says she will come get it.
Now obviously jewelry is something you don't just THROW OUT after 60 days. The warning on the ticket is just to encourage customers to pick their items up as quickly as possible so that our safe isn't full of jewelry all the time. We also keep a clear record of phone calls to and from the customer including the date and time as well as whether we reached the customer or left a voicemail.
Fast forward. The date is now January 2016 We are doing a bi-annual "call everyone who still has jewelry here." I notice that this repair has been here a LONG time, and we have called her more than 6 times. I give her a ring and the number is disconnected. We decide that after two years, this woman may be dead/ill and no one knew to come pick up the piece. It was a piece of junk anyway, and on top of that it was broken beyond repair, so we got rid of it.
The date is now April 2017. Enter a woman to the jewelry store. She says she is here to pick up a repair, but when I look it up in the system, it says it was picked up in January 2016. Now obviously this woman is furious that someone else could have picked up her repair, so we dig through our paper receipts from over a year ago and find our note that the repair was discarded.
We explained to the woman that the repair had been disposed of and our reasoning for doing so. We apologized, but there wasn't anything to do. My favorite part is when she says:
C: But why didn't you call me?!?!
Me: Ma'am we did call you. We spoke with you several times as I see here in our notes, and you kept saying you would come pick it up. But after two years your number was disconnected and you did not leave another method of contact. If you look at our ticket, you will see that there is a warning that we are not responsible past 60 days. We did you the favor of keeping your item for two years, but there is nothing else I can do for you.
Honestly I'm not sure what she even wanted with that item anyway. radiolady93